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With New Permit, Mavericks Surf Contest Avoids Wipeout

HALF MOON BAY (KCBS) - Just when it looked like the Mavericks surf contest had suffered its final bad break, a new wave of cooperation has surfers looking to the horizon.

Warring members of the Bay Area surfing community set aside their differences to come up with a new plan for organizing an event marred in recent years by spectator injuries.

The permit issued Wednesday by the San Mateo County Harbor District on  does not allow spectators on the beach at Pillar Point. Instead the event will be projected onto screens at local restaurants, and at a surf festival behind the Oceano Hotel.

KCBS' Chris Filippi Reports:

The revamped event by Mavericks Invitational, Inc. also marks the return of Jeff Clark, the Half Moon Bay native who helped start a contest that draws big wave surfers from around the world.

"It was really hard to sit on the sidelines for the last couple years," Clark said.

In 2009, ex-wife Katherine Kelly Clark took control of the company that had organized the event since 2003. A lawsuit later, she and Clark have united behind the latest bid to keep Mavericks alive.

Local business owners like Douglas Connor welcomed a plan they expect will drive more customers their way rather than to the shore, "which means more money for all of us."

Contestants are given just 24 hours notice to pack up their boards and head to the Bay Area for a competition that can happen anytime between Dec. 1 and March 30.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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